Introduction to Gematria - Hebrew Numerology In Hebrew, each letter possesses a numerical value.
Gematria is the calculation of the numerical equivalence of letters, words, or phrases, and, on that basis, gaining, insight into interrelation of different concepts and exploring the interrelationship between words and ideas. Here is a basic introduction to Gematria that discusses different systems for identifying the numerical equivalence of individual letters, how these letters can be calculated according to the implicit word-value of their names. The assumption behind this technique is that numerical equivalence is not coincidental. Since the world was created through God's "speech," each letter represents a different creative force. Thus, the numerical equivalence of two words reveals an internal connection between the creative potentials of each one. (see Tanya, Sha'ar HaYichud VeHaEmunah, chapters 1 and 12.) There are four basic ways to calculate the numerical equivalent for each individual letter:
Absolute Value Ordinal Value Reduced Value Integral Reduced value
The Tikunei Zohar explains that the concept of reduced value is related to the spiritual world of Yetzirah. On that basis, a relationship can be established between these four forms of calculation, the four spiritual realms, and the four letters of God's name:
letter of God's essential Name, Havayah yud hei vav hei type of calculation absolute value ordinal value reduced value integral reduced value world emanation (atzilut) creation (beri'ah) formation (yetzirah) action (asiyah)
On Innerpedia, our online encyclopedia, there are entries for many individual numbers, explaining both the significance of each number in number theory and what words and phrases equal that number. Words and phrases are taken from the gamut of traditional Torah literature and divided into sections: Bible, literature of the sages, Kabbalah, Chassidut, and Harav Ginsburgh's works. Here is a list of the current numbers with entries: 0 13 1378 1513 1839 1014 130 146 156 207 1225 1301 15 1600 216
and final tzadik equal 27.2209 306 358 377 543 66 685 819
23 333 37 441 585 662 735 851
230 345 370 455 638 676 761 901
Four Methods for Doing Gematria Absolute value. Rabbi Avraham Abulafia interprets the verse (Deuteronomy 32:30): "How can one pursue one thousand!" to mean: One. kuf equals 100) would all have a numerical value of 1. alef equals 1. However. the letters have only nine equivalents. and elef. sometimes the final chaf is considered equivalent to 500. yud is numerically equivalent to 10. nun sofiet. mem. The final kaf equals 23. nun. and reish equals 200 would all have a numerical value of 2. the final mem to 600. In both the Ordinal and Reduced reckonings. and tzadik sofiet which are the "final forms" of the letters chaf. alef equals 1. For example. kaf equals 20. The final tzadik equals 900 and thus. Reduced value (in Hebrew: mispar katan. in this reckoning. 40. follows after one thousand in a complete and perfect cycle. Ordinal value (in Hebrew: mispar siduri): Each of the 22 letters is given an equivalent from one to twenty-two. and so on. tav equals 400. The tenth letter. pei. 30. the five letters whose form changes when they conclude a word are generally equivalent to their value when they appear within a word. in Hebrew the same spelling is used for the name of the letter alef.and tzadik. they are sometimes given an independent value. Following that alternate form of reckoning. yud equals 10. modulus 9 in mathematical terminology): Each letter is reduced to a figure of one digit. the Hebrew alphabet is a complete cycle. beit (the second letter) equals 2. generally are given the same numerical equivalent of the standard form of the letter. used when these letters conclude a word. (in Hebrew: mispar hechrachi) also known as Normative value: Each letter is given the value of its accepted numerical equivalent alef (the first letter) equals 1. the ordinal value of the final nun is at
. the first number. taf = 22. and so on. beit equals 2. Indeed." Noting this phenomenon. the alef equals both one and one thousand. mem sofiet. However. and so on. pei sofiet. In this reckoning. and the last letter. rather than twenty-two. and successive letters equal 20. For example. The letter kuf near the end of the alphabet. equals 100. Thus. the letters chaf sofiet (final chaf). kaf equals 11. etc. meaning "one thousand. For example. (see chart below).
the integral reduced value is 9. Thus.
. and that of dalet is 4. 25. dalet) has three letters. the ordinal value of chet is 8. Similarly. The sum of these three figures is 72. Finally. mispar katan mispari): In this fourth method. the integer values of the total are repeatedly added to each other to produce a single-digit figure. Thus. Similarly. and at other times. the total numerical value of a word is reduced to one digit. chesed ("lovingkindness") (spelled: chet. its reduced value is at times 5. and that of dalet is 4. The same value will be arrived at regardless of whether it is the absolute values. that of samech is 60. that of samech is 15. 7. and is at times. The sum of these three figures is 18. The absolute or normative value of chet is 8. Should the sum of these numbers exceed 9. samech. the reduced value of chet is 8. Again. the ordinal values. Gematria Chart
Gematria Examples The Hebrew word.times considered 14. or the reduced values that are being counted. Integral Reduced Value (in Hebrew. integral reduced value is 9. the integral reduced value is again 9. The sum of these three figures is 27. that of samech is 6 and that of dalet is 4.
" (spelled: chet. Letter Filling At times. yud =22 vav. or vav. vav. with equivalents of 12. alef. or 708 when nun is given an independent value of 700. Its reduced value is 13 (chet equals 8. For example. "grace. alef =63 total milui
=20 yud. alef. hei hei. yud hei. or 15 respectively. dalet hei hei hei. vav. yud =72 total milui
=20 yud. 13. vav =15 hei. nun. Similarly. hei
=20 yud. yud. For example. vav. nun equals 50). vav. not only are the letters given numerical equivalents. 72. nun equals 14). It must be emphasized that these different calculations are not mere mathematical exercises. hei. the word chen is made up of two letters: chet. 45. nun) is often used as an appellation for the Kabbalah. Following are the principal miluim of the Name Havayah discussed in Kabbalah: Havayah of 72 yud yud. vav =15 hei. dalet =15 hei. However. the letter hei can be spelled: hei. Its integral reduced value is 4 or 6. or hei. nun equals 5). we must add that certain letters have more than one possible milui. yud. 52. correspond themselves to the four letters of God's name Havayah (and the ten sefirot) as follows:
. dalet =13 vav. Nun is spelled: nun. alef =13 vav. nun equals 106. In such cases.. pl. with the milui. alef. tav equals 418. vav. In this context. and 22 respectively. Rather each different numerical equivalent represents a different aspect of Divine influence. or 15 if the nun is assigned an independent value. different figures are reached dependent on how the vav and hei are spelled. alef. vav. yud. vav. yud total milui vav vav. they are considered complete words. 10. arriving at equivalents of 6. vav. Its absolute value is 58 (chet equals 8. according to the normal reckoning. vav =45 total milui
These four sums. or 33 when the nun is assigned a value of 25. 63. dalet =15 hei. the value of chen with its milui is 524. vav. The most classic use of these alternate miluim is with regard to Divine Name Havayah (spelled: yud. hei). hei hei. the letter vav can be spelled: vav. vav Havayah of 63 Havayah of 45 =6 =6 Havayah of 52 =20 =10 =12 =10 =52 hei. Its ordinal value is 22 (chet equals 8. vav. Here. the numerical value of a letter or word is given using another technique known as milui ("filling". The letter chet itself is spelled: chet. miluim). Thus. yud. the letters used to spell out the main letter are considered to be "pregnant" within it. The gematria of the letters themselves is 26.Another example: the word chen.
232 is numerically equivalent to yehi or ("Let there be light"). These techniques are employed many times in different articles on this website.
Similarly. Thus. vav. The four forms of the Name Havayah cited above are considered to be the most essential forms and each correspond to a different letter of God's name. samech. Thus. and here.
The Hebrew word. the ordinal value of chet is 8. nun equals 50). or 708 when nun is given an independent value of 700.
Finally. the integral reduced value is 9. nun equals 5). Thus. the integral reduced value is again 9. that of samech is 60. and that of dalet is 4. there are many Hebrew words whose proximity in meaning stems from their phonetic equivalence. particularly from the Bible and the Talmud. Thirty-nine is the numerical equivalent of Hashem Echad ("God is One"). or 33 when the nun is assigned a value of 25.
Another example: the word chen.
These letter interchangings are often used in Kabbalistic analysis of Hebrew words of phrases. as above. that of samech is 15. which equals 39 squared. chesed ("lovingkindness") (spelled: chet. the total of all the miluim is 1521.
Its reduced value is 13 (chet equals 8. wisdom Understanding The Emotional Attributes Kingdom
Each of the letters hei. The sum of these three figures is 72. Thus. The absolute or normative value of chet is 8. dalet) has three letters. 232. based on their origin in the mouth's vocal system:
the throat: ( אalef) ( חchet) ( הhei) ( עayin) the palate: ( גgimel) ( יyud) ( כkaf) ( קkuf) the tongue: ( זzayin) ( שshin) ( סsamech) ( רraish) ( צtzadik) the teeth: ( דdalet) ( טtet) ( לlamed) ( נnoon) ( תtav) the lips: ( בbet) ( וvav) ( מmem) ( פpai)
Phonetically. or 15 if the nun is assigned an independent value. that of samech is 6 and that of dalet is 4.
The Five Vocal Origins of the Letters
The 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet divide into 5 phonetic groups. and that of dalet is 4. hei of the Name Havayah possesses three variant spellings. the first of the utterances of Creation. Similarly.
To view a video discussing the origin of the throat and its relationship with the letters that emanate from it.
Introduction to Letter Transformations ()אותיות חילופי
Its ordinal value is 22 (chet equals 8. according to the normal reckoning. the reduced value of chet is 8.Letter of Havayah yud hei vav hei
Havayah of: 72 63 45 52 Chochmah Binah chesed to Yesod malchut
The Ten Sefirot Insight. nun equals 14). see here. see for example here. The sum of these three figures is 18. there are 27 (3 to the 3rd) possible miluim of Holy Name. with a midpoint of 58 (= chen). When added together. There are thirteen possible numerical equivalents ranging from 44 to 72. any two letters of the same origin can be interchanged. Its absolute value is 58 (chet equals 8. integral reduced value is 9. Again. the number 58 (= chen) is again reached." (spelled: chet. The sum of these three figures is 27. nun) is often used as an appellation for the Kabbalah. When their sum. is divided by four.
Its integral reduced value is 4 or 6.
The Hebrew term for letter transformations is chilufei otiyot . wherein the alef-beit is divided into two equal groups of eleven letters which are then paired (first to first. wherein the first and last letters of the alef-beit transform into one another. second to second.
alef beit gimmel dalet hei vav zayin chet tet yud kaf lamed mem nun samech ayin pei tzadik kuf reish shin tav
The Atbash Letter Transformation ()אתבש
At-bash is a basic "reflective" transformation pattern. as do the second and second-to-last. The name al-bam is a reference to the first two of these transformation pairs: alef-lamed and beit-mem. which literally means "the interchanging of letters. and so on. The six most common transformation systems are:
Al-bam At-bash Ach-bi Ayik-becher Achas-beta At-bach
The Albam Letter Transformation ()אלבם
Al-bam is a method of alphabetic transformation. This is the alphabetic transformation whose elements correspond to the sefirot within the partzuf of chochmah--Abba. There are a number of different transformation schemes used in Kabbalah. Hebrew: The Ideal Programming Language.
. [Rela she'arim]). See also our article. The name at-bash is a reference to the first two of these transformation pairs: alef-tav and beit-shin. In Sefer Yetzirah. etc) to transform one into the other. 22 such alef-beits are described (as the logically ordered basis of all the two-letter subroots of the Hebrew language. but in principle any of the possible pairings of the 22 letters constitutes a valid transformation and is referred to as an alef-beit. The basic "direct" transformation pattern.
. Within each group.
alef beit gimmel dalet kaf yud tet chet lamed mem nun samech tav shin reish kuf
. The name ach-bi is a reference to the first two of these transformation pairs: alef-kaf and beit-yud. and ach-bi (corresponding to wisdom (chochmah). etc.) The three transformation systems. and knowledge (da'at) form a "transformation ring. the second with the second-to-last.
alef beit gimmel dalet hei vav zayin chet tet yud kaf tav shin reish kuf tzadik pei ayin samech nun mem lamed
The Ach-bi Letter Transformation ()אכבי
Ach-bi is a method of alphabetic transformation wherein the alef-beit is divided into two equal groups of eleven letters.g. lamed in at-bash transforms into kaf--. understanding (binah). This is the alphabetic transformation whose elements correspond to the sefirot within the partzuf of knowledge (da'at." which means that if you transform a letter using all three you will come back to your original letter. al-bam. E. transforms back to alef.This is the alphabetic transformation whose elements correspond to the sefirot within the partzuf of binah--Imma. alef in al-bam transforms into lamed. which using ach-bi. the letters pair "reflectively"--the first with the last. at-bash.
for short]) are not considered. The "logic" behind this transformation pattern is that in each of the groups of nine letters the sum of each pair equals 10. the first and last letters transform one into the other. and the fourth and sixth.
The transformation pattern is "reflective" within each group. etc. this is the alphabetic transformation whose elements correspond to the sefirot within the partzuf of kingdom (malchut)--Nukva Deze'ir Anpin. The name At-Bach is a reference to the first two of these transformations: alef-tet and beit-chet. which are then tripled together in "direct order": The first letter in each group--alef. nun. 9. tzadik. as do the second and eighth. etc. chet. i. This is the alphabetic transformation whose elements correspond to the sefirot within the partzuf of Ze'ir Anpin (the seven emotive attributes).hei vav
The Achas. The final letter tav is added to the seventh triplet.
alef beit gimmel dalet hei vav zayin chet tet yud kaf lamed mem nun samech ayin pei tzadik kuf reish shin tav
The At-Bach Letter Transformation ()אטבח
At-bach is a method of alphabetic transformation that is initially divided into three groups. 9. and 9 when the five letters with a final form are considered. The name achas-beta is a reference to the first two of these transformation triplets. in accordance with either of two systems: 1. the third and seventh. The transformation pattern is one of "revolution" within each triplet. In Kabbalah. alef transforms into chet which transforms into samech which transforms into alef. or 1000 (all identical when calculated as reduced value). the second in each group--beit. The fifth letter possesses no partner within the group. In a group of nine. 9. 2. pei. and chaf [refered to as mantzapach. and samech.e. tet. and 4 when the five letters with a final form (mem. and ayin.Beta Letter Transformation ()בטע אחס
Achas-beta is a method of alphabetic transformation wherein the first 21 letters of the alef-beit are initially divided into three equal groups of seven letters. 100.
alef beit gimmel dalet tet chet zayin vav yud kaf lamed mem tzadik pei ayin samech kuf reish tav shin